Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for October 11th, 2017

Snake River

Releases from Jackson Lake Dam are at 900cfs. There is much more concentration of trout in prime holding water types than there was a week and a half ago.  Riffles, seams, side channels, banks, and bankside troughs are the key targets, especially on the lower river from Wilson Bridge down to Sheep Gulch.  Banks with moderate currents can offer trout holding up to three feet from submerged structure.  Mahogany duns, PMDs, October caddis, and blue-winged olives are the primary bugs on the water at the moment, with mahoganies and blue-wings being most prevalent on cloudy and wet days.

Action has been best from approximately 11am until dusk. The best bet is to go with moderately sized attractors with droppers during the morning hours in search of grabby fish, primarily along banks, bankside troughs, and in riffle pools.  By noon, it is worthwhile to switch over to single and tandem dry fly rigs and target riffles, seams, side channels, and bankside troughs.

Streamer fishing has picked up over the past week with large and moderately sized streamers fished with floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines, as well as intermediate to 3ips sinking tips. Target riffle pools, seams, banks, and bankside troughs. Perform slow retrieves in slower currents, and speed it up in faster currents.

Dry Flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Turck’s Taratulas, Stimulator, Parachute Extended Body Drakes, Parachute Extended Cahills, Parachute Adams Booty’s BWO Emerger, and Film Critics.

Nymphs – Rainbow Warriors, Lightening Bugs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, and Copper Johns in red..

Streamers – Galloup’s Mini Sex Dungeon, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Booty Call Minnows, and Chicklets.


South Fork

Flows from Palisades Reservoir are down to approximately 3,800cfs. Fishing has good on every reach of the South Fork with the most productive sections being on the upper reach in Swan Valley and on the lower reaches from Kelly’s Island down to Lorenzo Bridge.  Riffles, seams, banks, and flats are the best water types to target.  PMDs, blue-winged olives, October caddis, and mahogany duns are prevalent most days.  As on the Snake, the action on the South Fork is solidly in the 11am to 5pm range, with grabby fish being taken in the morning hours with dry-dropper rigs fished in riffle pools along banks, and at the tail of seams.  Single and tandem dry fly rigs can be fished the rest of the day in a variety of holding water types.

Streamer fishing is certainly better now than it was a couple weeks ago on the South Fork. The best fishing has been in the Canyon and on the lower reaches from Byington down to Lorenzo.  Moderately sized streamers are working best when fished along banks, riffle pools, and seams.  Use intermediate sinking lines or intermediate to 3ips tips.  Vary your retrieval speed and hesitate your retrieves from time-to-time.

Dry flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Stimulators, tent-Wing Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Mahogany Duns and BWOs, Parachute Adams, Pink Sulfur Emergers, Parachute Extended Mahogany Duns, Booty’s Mahogany Dun and BWO Emerger, and Quigley Cripples.

Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, LOF Pheasant Tails, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Copper Johns in red, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Zebra Midges, and San Juan Worms.

Streamers – Chicklets, Galloup’s Stacked Blond, Kreelux, Clouser Minnows, Bow River Buggers, SRA Double Bunnies, Silvey Sculpins.


Yellowstone National Park


Firehole River – Solid fishing on the Firehole at the moment with blue-winged olives, PMDs, and caddis appearing almost every day and on almost every piece of the stream. Riffles, foamy seams, and undercut banks are the best targets.  The best action has been on swung soft hackles and emergent patterns.  Cloudy and colder days have been best, but with the temperatures up in that part of the park right now, even sunny days are worth fishing.

Yellowstone Lake – Flats with two to eight feet of depth in the West Thumb are fishing very well with streamers and slow retrieved damsel/dragon fly nymph patterns. In fact, flats have been so productive that it might be the only water you need to target.  We have had a 60-40 split between cutthroats and lake trout respectively.  Dry fly fishing for cutthroats is still producing in the same water with almost any pattern in the #10 to #16 range.  Most of the surface action has been from approximately 11am to 2pm.

Lewis Lake and Lewis River – The Lewis Lake system has kicked into gear over the past week and a half. Browns are moving into the river in ever increasing numbers and there is noticeably more on the gravel either actively spawning or prepping for the spawn.  On the lake itself, mackinaw are on the flats in Brookie Bay, the mouth of the inlet, and on Mack Point.  Fish for these with moderately sized streamers and moderate to fast retrieves. Expect long casts of 40 to 60 feet and expect takes to occur within the first dozen strips.

Snake River – the Snake above Jackson Lake is a good place to be at the moment with cutthroats taking dry flies and streamers fished along structure and in riffles, riffle pools, and seams. Browns coming out of Jackson Lake are most prevalent on the lower portion of the Snake below Flagg Ranch in the vicinity of Glade Creek and Polecat Creek.  Fish for these in riffles and riffle pools where browns are pooling for their next runs upstream.